HPPR Government & Politics

state government (executive, legislative & judicial)
local government (city & county)
regional agencies & authorities
budgets & taxes
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district-level and statewide office campaigns
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A southwest Kansas lawmaker says there is no debate about renewable energy standards according to a recent article from the Kansas City Star


Texas lawmakers loosened supervision requirements for nurse practitioners last session in theory, but not in practice according to a recent article from the Texas Tribune.

Texas Democratic Leaders Snub Kinky

May 20, 2014

Texas Democratic leaders don’t want Richard “Kinky” Friedman to run for any public office as a Democrat.  For example, State Sen Leticia Van De Putte of San Antonio made a robocall touting South Central Texas rancher High Fitzsimmons III as the “serious” candidate for agriculture commissioner reported the Amarillo Globe-News.

It's primary runoff time in Texas

May 19, 2014

Here's some information to help get you ready to vote in next week's primary runoff in Texas.

GOP Railroad Commission race gets personal in Texas

May 15, 2014
StateImpact Texas

When there’s not much difference in policy, campaigns tend to get personal.  That’s exactly what’s happening in the Railroad Commission race in Texas.   (Just as a reminder, the Railroad Commission doesn't have anything to do with Texas railroads.  It regulates the oil and gas industry.)

Kansas: Huelskamp runs again

May 14, 2014

U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp filed for re-election this week for the 1st District.  The lawmaker paid his $1,760 filing fee in Topeka.  The Topeka Capital-Journal reported the legislator is polishing his credential as a tea party rebel who is not afraid to ruffle the most influential Republicans and Democrats in Washington, D.C.

Haskell County family tests Kansas water law

May 13, 2014

With the depletion of the Ogallala aquifer looming, a Haskell County family is testing Kansas water rights law.  First in time, first in right gives senior water rights priority over junior rights.  If the senior right is impaired, the owner of the junior right could be ordered to reduce irrigation from their well or even be shut down completely water reported Amy Bickel for Kansas Agland.

Election board says Pat Roberts is a Kansas resident

May 13, 2014

U.S. Senator Pat Roberts was determined to be a Kansas resident this week by the state elections board. The Republican will be allowed to seek re-election this year.


Representative Don Hineman, R-Dighton, doubts the lack of connection between the Kansas Senior Consumer Alliance and Americans for Prosperity according to a recent article in the Wichita Eagle

Texas: Think before you vote on bonds tomorrow

May 9, 2014

Voters in Texas will be voting on multimillion-dollar bonds for more than 80 school districts and municipalities tomorrow.  Comptroller Susan Combs asks Texas voters to take a close look at what they’re being asked to authorize according to the Amarillo Globe-News.


The Democratic Governors Association is not investing in the Texas Governor’s race this year said the head of the organization.  Despite the fact that the state is a fertile fundraising stop, the money isn’t flowing back into Texas to help turn the state blue reported KUT.

$3 million dollar suit worries drillers

May 1, 2014
Helen Slottje / The Texas Tribune

A jury recently awarded a North Texas family $3 million dollars in damages.  The family alleged a drilling company’s activities near their home caused chronic headaches, nose-bleeds, wheezing, and other illnesses according to The Texas Tribune.

Refusal to expand Medicaid costs Kansas

Apr 30, 2014

A recent panel said the decision by Gov. Sam Brownback and Republican legislative leaders not to expand Medicaid is denying care to thousands and costing Kansas hospitals millions of dollars according to a recent article by the Kansas Health Institute.

Texas loses upwind battle with Feds

Apr 30, 2014
Andrea Parker / Cory Maluski / The Texas Tribune

The state of Texas has battled the federal government over quite a few environmental regulations.  This week it lost a major battle when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to reinstate a regulation with the goal of limiting air pollution effects across state boundaries according to The Texas Tribune.

KanCare costs contractors millions

Apr 29, 2014

The three main KanCare contractors all lost money in their first year of managing health care for 380,000 Kansas Medicaid enrollees according to a recent article from the Kansas Health Institute.

The trio received cash infusions from their parent companies allowing them to meet their obligations and stay solvent.

Fallin signs abortion hospice care bill

Apr 29, 2014
Ben Ramsey / Flickr Creative Commons

Gov. Mary Fallin signed a bill this week requiring caregivers to notify women of the availability of perinatal hospice services for fetuses diagnosed with conditions incompatible with sustaining life after birth.  The perinatal hospice services provide support from the time of diagnosis through the infant’s birth and death according to a report from KGOU.

Kansas lawmakers resume session this week

Apr 28, 2014
Stephen Koranda

Kansas lawmakers are set to resume the 2014 legislative session this week after taking almost a month off.  They still have some work to do according a recent report from Kansas Public Radio.



Senator Bob Dole is doing a lot of appreciating these days. He just wrapped up the first leg of a thank you tour around his home state of Kansas, meeting with longtime friends and supporters who've helped him with throughout his career. And they did turn out to see the native Kansas son, who served as the Republican Majority Leader in the Senate and ran for president in 1996. It is clear Dole still loves working a room. He loves weighing in on the big issues, and he cannot resist a good one-liner.


Gov. Mary Fallin signed Senate Bill 1456 into law recently.  The new measure allows regulated electric utility companies to charge customers who generate electricity from rooftop solar panels or small wind turbines reported StateImpact Oklahoma.


Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback signed the school finance bill this week; complete with controversial add-ons reported the Topeka Capital-Journal


With the Texas May primary run-off looming overhead, a Republican lieutenant governor candidate is being held-- feet to the fire.  Rep. Dan Patrick answered the social media challenge of San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, where Castro called the senator the “most anti-immigrant Republican running for office,” according to a recent article from The Texas Tribune.

Colorado Republicans cut number candidates significantly during a recent statewide assembly. U.S. Rep. Gardner will not have a primary challenger. The number of gubernatorial hopefuls was whittled down from seven to four.

Brownback signs Kansas Supreme Court changes into law

Apr 21, 2014

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback recently signed 19 bills into law.  Topping the list was and a bill stripping the Kansas Supreme Court of its appointment power as well as changing the system’s management according to a recent article from the Kansas Health Institute.

Ross Ramsey / The Texas Tribune

The Texas Libertarian Party recently held its convention in Temple to nominate statewide candidates.  With fewer votes than it takes to get on the vestry of a church, November nominees were chosen.  But, there are advantages to being a small group reported The Texas Tribune.

About a dozen attorneys general attended the first-ever conference on fracking.


Oklahoma State Rep. David Dank says a recently released report the Oklahoma Department of Commerce shows legislative film rebates are a “bad deal” according to a recent story from KGOU.

Oklahoma: Lone Democrat joins US 3rd District race

Apr 15, 2014

Lone Democrat, Frankie Lee Robbins, wants to unseat 10-term U.S. Rep Frank Lucas in Oklahoma’s 3rd Congressional District according to The Republic.

Michael Pearce / kansas.com

Legislative action to revoke the Kansas Endangered Species Act and another bill to prevent landowners from locking their property indefinitely into conservation programs are firing up conservationists reported the Wichita Eagle.


Gov. Sam Brownback recently announced that Kansas is joining a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over the designation of the lesser prairie chicken as a threatened species according to a recent article in the Wichita Eagle.


The Kaiser-Francis Oil Company is like other Oklahoma energy empires in many ways.  It’s been created by entrepreneurs who pulled themselves up by the bootstraps.  It’s ruled by a billionaire CEO who has weather storms of controversy and showers of praise, but the Tulsa-based exploration and production company is different.  It isn’t pushing for oil and gas tax cuts according to a recent article from StateImpact Oklahoma.